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“Very poor service and incredibly expensive”

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North Star Continental Grand Hotel
Ranked #472 of 6,463 Hotels in Beijing
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Very poor service and incredibly expensive”
Reviewed 21 April 2012

First there was the drill from 8 in the morning until 6 in the night as a result of renovations. You would think that the obvious solution would be to house guests in parts of the hotel relatively unaffected by the noise, but I felt like a giant rat was trying to knaw its way into the room. Not good when you come home in the middle of the day feeling sick and need to lie down.

Second, the expenses, lots of little ones. $5 to wash one shirt. Hideously expensive pots of tea (the cheapest one being about $30). Prices well over any Australian hotel. $1-2 to print a single sheet of paper in the so-called 'business center'

Few facilities for a hotel that claims to be five stars. No gym, no swimming pool. A disappointment since I was looking forward to getting some exercise in smoggy Beijing.

Finally, the internet. Very expensive. Quite slow. Shocking security - our emails got hacked for the first time when we were at the hotel and someone started sending spam out from our addresses (and our passwords were not something like '1,2,3,4,5'.

Do yourself a favour and avoid this place. Lucky the conference paid for our rooms (one day equal to a month's rent in a decent Beijing apartment).

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Daftmeerkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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373 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2012

It was my first trip to Beijing, and a group from my school went for the HMUN conference. Check-in took a long time, and we were waiting for about 25 minutes. The rooms were extremely warm, due to "air conditioners" which seemed to heat the room when we set it to cool to 5 degrees Celsius. The shower was extremely small and smelled like cigarette smoke, but the rest of the room was fairly modern and comfortable. The hotel only provided two small bottles of water, which isn't enough for two people. Luckily, there is a supermarket down the road, in which you can buy supplies.
The hotel is connected directly to the conference centre, which is extremely handy. The facade of the building is very old and run down looking, but the inside seems newer.
The buffet breakfast was not nice. I'm not sure if its because there was a conference, but the buffet lacked variety, even though it was fairly large in size. Each of the sections had the same food. There were a few restaurants around the hotel, but most were fast food places, or cheap food court restaurants. You would need to walk for at least 10 mins to find a proper restaurant.
The view from the hotel rooms was not good. I would wake up to see a barren, dry park with two, puny trees standing in the middle, or in some people's case, the highway. There was a constant honking of Beijing taxis, and the hotel was located next to the highway. Although the hotel was located somewhat near the iconic Bird's Nest and the Water Cube, it was a fair walk to get there, and you couldn't see them from the room I was in. Check-out also took a long time, and we were waiting in the lobby for 45 mins.
The hotel is very big with a lot of rooms, and an alright option if you are attending a conference at the Beijing conference centre. It is close to a mall, which is convenient if you want to buy food or medicine, but if you are not attending a conference, I would suggest staying at a nicer hotel in the main city.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank MigiRyan7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2012

This hotel is located near the birds nest stadium in beijing. There's not a lot to say about this hotel. The room was well furnished and everything is new. The linen was very comfortable. The reception is set up like an airline checkin counter with strap barriers to control the crowd as its quite a large hotel. One thing to note is there doesn't appear to be a convenience store nearby but there is only a very small amount of complimentary water. So you need to start paying mini bar prices for water to brush your teeth as the bathroom water cannot be consumed. I would suggest paying an extra $40 per night and stay somewhere central with easy access to shops and better facilities.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Wgeine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
49 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2011

The hotel, its services and restaurant are very good. It is just besides the olympic park, but far from the subway station (the olympic park subway is closed). There are supermarkets in the neighbourhood and some othe local commerce.

The rooms are spacious but the linen and towells smell a little because they have smoking rooms. the buffet restaurant has a lot of options and a very nice breakfast.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank sapao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
37 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2011

Not a bad hotel. If you like to go jogging in the morning you have the unique opportunity to do it at the gorgeous Olympic park! The hotel is also extremely convenient for people who are attending a conference at the Beijing conference center.

Other than that there isn't much to do in that area. If you have a couple of extra days in Beijing, I highly recommend moving to another hotel. Keep in mind that cabs (at least at the time I wrote this review) were very cheap in Beijing if compared to the US. The only problem of relying on cabs is the time you will spent in traffic (traffic in Beijing can be awful!).

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Cassio G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2011

Stayed on the 12th floor of the hotel, with a partial view of the Bird's nest stadium. The room was a decent size and the bathroom was big enough for a bathtub. Housekeeping came every day but I don't think they own a vacuum cleaner as the carpet was dirty for the entire stay and had not been cleaned for a long time. There were peanut shells lying on the floor by the window and leaves on the carpet that had not been removed. The only problem I had with the room was that the room temperature seemed to be stuck on 24 degrees, which was a bit too warm for me and could not be lowered. I had to keep the window open for the whole stay but it was still too warm.

The staff were polite but did not speak very much (if any) English, which was a bit surprising since you would think they would have a lot of international travellers coming to the convention centre next door.

Breakfast was a decent choice of cold and hot cooked food.

There was a supermarket nearby, which was handy for buying water as none was provided in the room. At check in they asked if I would require anything from the mini bar. I said no and they came and locked it, which was a bit annoying as I would have liked to buy some things from the supermarket and keep them chilled.

There is free wifi connection in the lobby area but it is not available in the room. There is a cable provided in the room but this internet connection is charged.

It was a 15-20 minute walk to the nearest subway station, which I eventually managed to find. The concierge either couldn't explain the directions in English or didn't want to, and advised me that it was not possible to walk to the subway and that I should take a taxi.

If you are coming from the airport and don't have much luggage, take the airport shuttle bus on route 5 to the second stop, which stops near the back of the Crowne Plaza. The hotel is not far - a 10-15 minute walk to get to the front entrance. Most other delegates came by taxi and paid 4-5 times more than expected.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the square (on the left side when coming out of the lifts) are quieter.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank tiny13_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leverett, MA
Level Contributor
388 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 229 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2011

This is a big hotel, walking distance to the bird nest at the Olympic site. It is connected to a major convention center via an air conditioned enclosed walkway. We had a room with two beds, each a bit wider than a normal twin bed. The beds were very comfortable. The water in Beijing from the tap is not drinkable, so bottled water is provided (and more is available nearby at an underground shopping mall, or a bit further in a large supermarket). Rooms have little refrigerators and are well equipped with all sorts of things that you don't find in hotels in the US. For example, each room as two gas masks that presumably would be useful in case of smoke from a fire.

The bathroom was sparkling clean, and of dimensions that were reasonable by standards in the US, but not large. There was a clothes line in the tub-shower. The TV was on cable, many channels, some English-speaking, and modern. We had the impression that the rug was relatively new because it shed pile when you moved your foot along it. The room was made up every day with fresh towels, but it was not vacuumed during our week-long stay (the pile kept accumulating). Our room was not non-smoking, but the faint smoke smell vanished after about a day. The room was quiet with minimal outside noise. The air conditioner worked.

Communication with the front desk was at times marginal. Typically at least one person behind the desk was able to communicate relatively easily in English, but most had more difficulty. Local directions are available. There is a money exchange in the hotel and a cash machine. The staff is friendly, polite and tries hard to be helpful.

The breakfast was remarkable, with a huge variety of offerings, larger than I have experienced anyplace else. There were cold cereals, scrambled eggs, bacon, eggs fried to order, a variety of steamed vegetables, two kinds of juices (including orange), a great coffer machine that ground real beans and made good coffee, a substantial variety of fruits, danish, toast, noodles, rice, etc., etc. This was a remarkable spread, including offerings that would suit Japanese guests, included in the room price (for one person) and purchasable (about $12) for a second person in the room (at least that was the plan we had with the conference I attended). This breakfast buffet turned into a broad buffet for lunch and was also there as a buffet for dinner. Day to day changes in the offering were minimal, but the variety was so large that you never really had a problem with what to eat. Also in the hotel is a Chinese restaurant (that is good and will be separately reviewed) and a Japanese restaurant (that we did not try).

Internet is available in the rooms for a subscription charge, which is not very large and can be purchased by the minute. But, there is no warning when you reach your limit, so keep track of the time or you will be disconnected in the middle of what you are doing.

This was a good place to stay.

Room Tip: Ask for non-smoking.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BobHLeverett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about North Star Continental Grand Hotel

Property: North Star Continental Grand Hotel
Address: No.8 Beichen East Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
Region: China > Beijing > Asian Games Village
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
#75 Spa Hotel in Beijing
#265 Best Value Hotel in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — North Star Continental Grand Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 538
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Continental Grand Beijing
Hotel Continental Grand

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